Examines representation and power issues relating to the IMF’s Board, staff and management. Identifies and discusses reform proposals.
The reality behind the Comprehensive Development Framework and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (2000).
Two forces for change have converged on the IMF in recent years. The first is in relation to the financial crisis that swept across the globe in 1997 and 1998. The second has arisen from the pressure for debt cancellation to be linked to poverty reduction objectives and the acceptance that structural adjustment policies have failed to achieve lower levels of poverty.
The Bretton Woods Project welcomes the establishment of an EVO.
In January 1999, Wolfensohn revealed the Comprehensive Development Framework, which frames his agenda for the Bank. This is a short examination of some of the issues raised by this announcement (July 1999).
This paper considers whether private sector flows is an effective alternative to development assistance. It examines the implications of increased private sector inflows in terms of the potential to create unsustainable debt burdens and to tie the hands of policy makers to a limited set of policies critical for foreign investors but potentially detrimental to the domestic economy.
The “second generation” reforms are aimed at implementing policies for the common good, particularly social policies that will help to alleviate poverty and provide more equal opportunity. It would appear that the IMF views itself no longer as simply an institution to achieve macroeconomic stabilisation objectives but is focused much more on structural issues, issues which have previously been the remit of the World Bank (1997).
Critical analysis of the Bank’s 1997 World Development Report, The Role of the State. Written by Nicholas Hildyard, commissioned by the Bretton Woods Project
The IMF has taken few steps to openly evaluate its operations. To try to remedy this situation, and in response to non-governmental organisations’ calls for a fully independent review mechanism, the IMF executive board decided to establish an ad hoc external review mechanism on a trial basis (1998).
The World Bank’s pilot of its Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) in Bolivia, reflects both scepticism and a complete lack of involvement. How did this state of affairs come about? And are the prospects for the CDF really as bleak as this might suggest?
When the social principles were proposed by Gordon Brown at the 1998 AGM of the Bank and IMF it was envisaged that they would apply to all countries and would be monitored as the other codes on Fiscal Transparency, Monetary Policy and Corporate Governance will be. The Development Committee charged the World Bank with the task of drawing up the principles (1999).
Although it has sought to adapt, the Fund still has particular difficulties in dealing effectively with low income countries. The introduction of ESAF was an important attempt at adaptation but its programmes are still too short term, the scale of support is often too small, and the policy conditions laid down are too blinkered.